The leader of South Korea's largest corporate giant Samsung Group passed away last weekend at age 78, more than six years after a heart attack that led to him falling into a coma.
The late Lee Kun-hee was recognised as a global tech titan, and credited for turning his father's small dry-goods store that opened on 25 dollars into an IT powerhouse that now leads the world in sales of semiconductors, smartphones, televisions and more.
And it's not just electronics. The Samsung brand has become an empire across Korea, spanning food and beverage, fashion and hospitality to advertising and shipbuilding.
We look back on his major achievements today and discuss whether his legacy will continue with his son, Lee Jae-yong, groomed for the job.
Joining me is : Andrew LIM, Trade Commissioner at the Quebec Government Office in Seoul. Thanks for joining us.
We also connect with Elizabeth Koh, Reporter at the Wall Street Journal based in Seoul.
1. Andrew: The late Chairman Lee Kun-hee took over the company as Chairman after his father died in 1987., as you can see on the screen right now What was Lee Kun-hee's vision for the company as chief of Samsung today what were some of his key moments or executive decisions that turned the Samsung Group into the empire it is today?
2. Elizabeth: Just how big is the company now-- not only in terms of its contribution to the South Korean economy, but globally speaking? How strong is it as a brand, and how widespread are its operations?
3. Andrew Lim: Samsung shows a strong example of top-down innovation. How did Lee Kun-hee demonstrate that through his leadership, and what were some key technologies that helped Samsung make the transition from a fast follower to a first mover?
4. Elizabeth: Ten years after assuming leadership, Lee launched Samsung's handsets in the global market. It's hard to believe Samsung only started selling phones overseas in 1997, and it was able to make the jump from cellular handsets to smartphones and flourish, unlike Sony, Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson. How did the late Chairman Lee grow the company into a leading player in the premium smartphone market?
5. Elizabeth: Samsung Electronics has a complex ownership structure, as you can see here on the screen,and the de facto leader has been in and out of jail due to bribery charges. Do you think the complications that the tech giant faces will affect its operations?
6. Andrew: What complications will the tech giant have to overcome to complete the managerial succession, and can it run effectively without a new chairman to fill the spot?
7. Already expected to be world's No. 1 logic chipmaker by 2030 with an investment of $117 billion and by strengthening its foundry businesses. What key technologies and businesses should the company invest in to move forward?
8. Andrew Lim: We were both at CES earlier this year where it was clear that Samsung is doing its best to come up with out-of-the-box ideas like artificial humans. What are some interesting developments you're seeing from the company, and what should it do to become a leading company in the Fourth Industrial Era? What are its strengths and weaknesses?
That was Andrew Lim, Trade Commissioner at the Quebec Government Office in Seoul. Elizabeth Koh, Reporter at the Wall Street Journal based in Seoul.
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